What Does General Dentistry Include

What Does General Dentistry Include?

You might think that the point of going to your general dentist is for cleanings and maybe an occasional filling. But you are wrong if you believe that’s all your dentist can offer you! A wide variety of treatments is available at a typical general dentist’s office.

Most visits to your general dentist include an initial consultation, thorough examination, and diagnostic tests if needed like dental x-rays. You’ll have the opportunity to express any problems or concerns you have, and your dentist will identify any issues that you might not be aware you have. You can also expect a meticulous professional cleaning to eliminate tartar buildup and stains that you may not have been able to get rid of at home.

You can expect these common procedures at many general dentistry practices:

  • Fillings – to repair damage caused by tooth decay, often using composite resin material to provide a strong yet cosmetically appealing solution.
  • Bonding – using composite resin to repair issues like cracks, chips, gaps or stains.
  • Crowns – also called caps, these restorations are fitted over damaged or broken teeth to restore tooth structure and function, and to protect them from future damage.
  • Bridges – to replace missing teeth, a bridge structure anchors an artificial tooth or teeth. Crowns fit over natural teeth on both sides of a gap, in which the artificial tooth replaces a missing tooth to provide a natural appearance and functional replacement.
  • Dentures – if a number of teeth are missing, dentures are removable false teeth with the goal of functioning and looking like real teeth.
  • Root canal treatment – when the interior pulp of a tooth is badly damaged or infected, this procedure removes the faulty portion and completely restores the tooth to avoid tooth loss.
  • Teeth whitening – when teeth have become discolored with age, tobacco use, diet, or more, it can be very difficult to restore their white shade without the aid of professional whitening. General dentists may offer at-home kits or in-office whitening treatments.
  • Maxillofacial treatments – mouth, jaw, or facial procedures are sometimes offered, including options like TMJ treatment or dental implants.

If you live in the McDonough area contact us today

Oral Cancer Explained

Oral Cancer Explained

Most people have friends or family who have had to deal with the disease cancer in some area of the body. Cancer can be described as uncontrollable cell growth that invades and damages surrounding tissue. Oral cancer often shows up as a persistent sore or growth in the mouth, but also includes cancers of the tongue, lips, cheeks, palate, throat, and sinuses. Like most cancers, it can be life threatening without early detection and treatment.

Symptoms

Common symptoms of oral cancer include:

  • Swelling, lumps, or rough spots on your lips, gums, or other mouth areas
  • White or red patches in your mouth
  • Numbness or tenderness in your mouth, neck, or face
  • Unexplained bleeding in your mouth
  • Sore throat or feeling that something is stuck in your throat
  • Persistent sores in the mouth, neck or face that bleed easily and do not heal in two weeks
  • Hoarseness or chronic sore throat
  • Difficulty swallowing, chewing, talking, or moving your jaw or tongue
  • Earache
  • Substantial weight loss

Risk factors

Men are at twice as high risk for oral cancer than women, and men over 50 are at greatest risk. The biggest risk factors include any kind of smoking or using smokeless tobacco, excessive alcohol consumption, excessive sun exposure, or family history of cancer. However, it’s important to know that more than 25 percent of oral cancers occur in people who do not smoke or only drink alcohol occasionally.

Diagnosis

Routine dental checkups include an examination for signs of oral cancer. A biopsy may be performed on any suspicious areas. Regular checkups are important so that tests can identify oral cancer early, before it can spread or progress.

Treatment

Oral cancer is often treated similarly to other types of cancers. It may include surgery to remove the growth, followed by radiation or chemotherapy to destroy remaining cancer cells.


We treat patients from McDonough and the surrounding area

dentures

How Dental Implants Changed Dentures Forever

If you’ve been wearing dentures for a while, you may have some complaints. They might fit poorly and shift or click when you talk or eat. Poor fit can lead to discomfort and sores in the mouth that worsen over time, or they can collect food underneath them, leading to bad breath.

If this sounds familiar to you, there might be alternatives for you. One of the newest developments in dentures is the pairing of standard dentures with dental implants. The dental implants are placed directly into your jawbone, providing the kind of stability only previously offered by natural teeth. Dentures fixed in the mouth with dental implants become something new: hybrid dentures.

Dentures that utilize dental implants as their anchors are very stable. They enable denture wearers to enjoy foods previously denied them, such as crisp, healthy foods or chewy cuts of meat. Eliminating the food restrictions present for many denture wearers allows them to eat a wider variety of foods, helping to reduce the risk of poor nutrition and the poor health associated with it, including digestion difficulties.

Because of this increased stability, the denture itself can be made smaller. A standard denture covers the roof of the mouth completely, inhibiting the taste and texture of foods. A denture designed around dental implants, however, has an open roof and facilitates a greater enjoyment of foods of all kinds, as well as a more natural feel for your tongue.

Dental implants also stimulate bone by mimicking natural tooth roots. This stimulation allows the bone to continue to be strong and alive, whereas the bones of the face can begin to shrink once a tooth has been extracted. This bone shrinkage leads directly to poor denture fit. Dental implants used with dentures avoid this issue.

If you are a denture wearer and you’d like to see some changes in how your dentures fit, talk to your dentist to see how using dental implants can improve your denture experience.

We look forward to seeing you in our McDonough dental office

Corrective Jaw Surgery

Oral surgery to correct problems with the jaw is known as orthognathic surgery. Jaw issues can result from birth defects, changes due to growth, or injury or trauma to the face. While orthodontics can correct bite problems when only the teeth are involved, oral surgery may be required when repositioning of the jaw is necessary to correct the issue. If you suffer from any of the following concerns, orthognathic surgery may be a consideration:

  • Difficulty chewing, biting or swallowing
  • Problems with opening and closing your mouth, or with speaking
  • Persistent jaw or temporomandibular joint pain
  • Clenching or grinding of teeth causing excessive wear to the teeth
  • Inability to make the lips meet without straining
  • Un-proportional facial appearance or protruding jaw
  • Malocclusion, open, or incorrect bite
  • Recessive lower jaw and chin
  • Habitual mouth breathing
  • Sleep apnea and breathing problems
  • Facial injury or trauma

Most jaw surgeries are performed completely in the mouth, so no facial scars are visible. The oral surgeon makes cuts in the jawbone and then moves them to the correct position. Once the jaw is correctly aligned, screws and bone plates are placed to secure the jaw into the new position. Sometimes it may be necessary to add extra bone to the jaw from your hip, leg, or rib.

Orthognathic surgery is performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon usually in a hospital setting. Recovery time from jaw surgery takes three to six weeks. Your general or family dentist should be able to refer you to a skilled oral surgeon for a consultation and examination to determine a treatment plan. Jaw surgery can improve not only your facial appearance, but also chewing, speaking and breathing functions.

Our dental office is located in McDonough

Whitening Your Teeth at Home

If you have to think twice about smiling because you’re embarrassed about your yellowed teeth, then it’s time to do something about it. You might consider having your teeth professionally whitened for quick and effective results, but first you may want to try whitening your smile at home with these natural methods.

Hydrogen peroxide:
Most teeth whitening products you find on store shelves contain hydrogen peroxide. The liquid creates bubbles on your tooth enamel that helps remove stains. The higher the concentration of peroxide and the longer you leave it on, the whiter your teeth will become. However, be careful because too much contact can lead to tooth sensitivity. Some people enhance the whitening properties of hydrogen peroxide by mixing it with baking soda to form a paste to put on the teeth.

Strawberries:
Regularly using strawberries on your teeth can whiten them. Just cut them in half and rub them on your teeth, allowing the juice to penetrate. After a while of using this technique, you should notice your teeth becoming brighter.

Lemon or orange peels:
Rubbing the peels of lemons or oranges against your teeth and leaving the residue on for a few minutes can whiten your smile. Be sure to rinse your mouth afterwards. Don’t leave the peel extracts on your teeth for too long because the acidic content may eventually harm your tooth enamel.

Apple cider vinegar:
Stubborn stains like those from coffee or smoking can be especially hard to eliminate. Rubbing apple cider vinegar on your teeth is one way to combat persistent stains. Apply it for no more than ten minutes and then rinse your mouth, because you don’t want to damage your tooth enamel. It take one to two months of consistent daily use to achieve a whiter smile.

Brush immediately:
The most well-known way to maintain a white smile is to brush your teeth after every meal, as well as after drinking a dark colored beverage. This helps get rid of stains and prevent new ones from forming.


Our dental office is located in McDonough

How to Know You Need Root Canal Therapy

Tooth decay that is allowed to become severe can cause extensive damage to your tooth, even resulting in tooth loss if not treated. Sometimes symptoms are present that cause you to visit your dentist, but other times it’s just a regular checkup that catches a problem.

The source of trouble usually begins with a small area of tooth decay that goes unnoticed. Bacteria attacks, decay thrives, a cavity may form, and infection can spread. Cavities may be filled to repair the tooth and eradicate infection, but advanced cases of decay can reach the tooth’s interior. Once it gets to the pulp, serious damage can set in. This is when symptoms often appear, sometimes becoming severe.

Once damage reaches your tooth’s pulp, some common symptoms that will prompt you to call your dentist may include:

  • Slight to severe pain when biting, chewing, or even putting slight pressure on the tooth
  • Minor to extreme sensitivity when your tooth comes into contact with anything hot or cold
  • Inflammation or swelling near the gum line surrounding the affected tooth
  • Ongoing aches in the general area of the damaged tooth, including headaches, neck aches, or earaches
  • Ulcers or bumps near the damaged tooth
  • Difficulty performing normal mouth functions like eating

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s time to visit your dentist for an evaluation. Root canal therapy might be recommended to restore your tooth’s health and regain comfort and functionality. Root canal treatment involves cleaning the damaged areas of the tooth pulp to remove infection and bacteria, filling the open space, and sealing it to prevent future damage. Sometimes a crown is placed on top to complete the process.

When a tooth is severely damaged, root canal therapy provides your best chance for restoration and optimum oral health. Your dentist will effectively and safely perform the procedure, and at the same time relieve the related symptoms that you may be experiencing.


We treat patients from McDonough and the surrounding area

When Are Removable Prosthodontics Recommended?

If your teeth are badly damaged from decay or facial trauma, or if you have several missing teeth, your dentist may recommend removable prosthodontics to solve your dental problems. Periodontitis (advanced gum disease), bone loss or serious tooth decay can leave you as a poor candidate for restorative options such as dental crowns, dental bridges or dental implants. Removable prosthodontics can restore your smile so that it looks and functions as it should and can restore your confidence as you eat, smile and laugh.

Just hearing the word “dentures” might give you pause, reminding you of your older relatives, but achievements in dental restorative therapies enable your dentist to craft a removable prosthodontic for you that will not only look, but will feel like your natural smile.

Removable prosthodontics include:

  • Partial dentures correct gaps when only a few of your natural teeth are missing. A partial denture may be the best choice if your remaining teeth aren’t strong enough to support a dental bridge.
  • Overdentures provide restorations when one or more of your natural teeth are in place in an arch – typically two teeth for a bottom overdenture and four teeth for an upper overdenture.
  • Immediate dentures are put in place following an extraction, allowing the bone and gums to recover following an extraction procedure. They prevent the adjacent teeth from collapsing upon the empty space and affecting your bite.
  • Complete dentures are for edentulous patients (patients with no teeth at all) and are designed to replace all of the teeth in one or both arches of your mouth, restoring your smile and your ability to eat and speak clearly.

Because of advancements in materials and techniques, many dentures can be mistaken for natural teeth. Only you – and your prosthodontist – will know your secret. Talk to your prosthodontist today to see what removable prosthodontics can do for you. Don’t wait to begin enjoying your life with your new, healthy smile.

Our dental office is located in McDonough

Debunking the Myths about Root Canal Treatment

One of the most misunderstood procedures in dentistry is root canal treatment. If your dentist recommends this procedure, you might be quick to turn to the internet or other sources to learn about it. Unfortunately there is a lot of unreliable information out there, which can scare you away from needed treatment.

There are some common myths that circulate about root canal therapy. Instead of avoiding treatment, learn the truth about this procedure that may be the most effective way to save a damaged tooth.

Myth: Root canal treatment is very painful.

Truth: This procedure often serves to relieve pain instead of creating it. With the anesthetics and sedation dentistry available today, in most cases the procedure feels like simply getting a filling.

Myth: You don’t need root canal treatment unless you are experiencing severe tooth pain.

Fact: Pain is not always present when root canal therapy is advised by your dentist. A tooth that has died may no longer trigger pain, but treatment is necessary to eliminate infection and save the tooth. Diagnostic tests are available to help your dentist diagnose tooth problems even when pain is not present.

Myth: The benefits of root canal treatment are short-lived.

Fact: This treatment provides durable and long-lasting results, potentially for a lifetime. Since the tooth is usually topped with a crown, it can be protected indefinitely.

Myth: Root canal treatment causes illnesses.

Fact: This is one of the most common misconceptions you might run across on the internet. Based on very old research that has been proven to be wrong, the myth still exists that root canal therapy might cause various diseases. Instead, root canal treatment is safe and only improves your oral and overall health.

Myth: Tooth extraction is an adequate alternative to root canal therapy.

Fact: Dentists agree that saving your natural tooth is almost always preferred over a traumatic procedure like tooth extraction. The benefits of keeping your restored real tooth are better than having a hole in your smile or requiring tooth replacement solutions.


If you need a dentist in McDonough contact us today

The Basics of Kids Dental Care

Many children aren’t excited about seeing the dentist, either as a result of comments others have made or the idea of an unknown experience. Dental visits are necessary for everyone though, beginning around the child’s first birthday. Here are some basics to know about your child’s dental care.

What happens at the first appointment?:
When your child sees the dentist for the first time, the dentist will look for tooth decay and determine your child’s risk for it. You will be shown how to properly clean your child’s teeth. Also, your dentist will explain the risks of habits that may affect your child’s teeth, such as thumb sucking or sugary drinks.

How often should my child see the dentist?:
You should continue to take your child to visit the dentist every six months, or in some cases more often if your child’s risks are high for tooth decay. Regular checkups can reduce your child’s risk for cavities because plaque will be removed and fluoride will be applied to strengthen the teeth. Also, potential dental issues may be caught early to avoid problems in the future.

What if further treatment is recommended?:
Even though your child might not have permanent teeth yet, dental work may be required on baby teeth too. Cavities can be painful and should be filled. Also, healthy baby teeth help your child properly chew, speak, and develop permanent teeth.

How can I help my child feel more comfortable?:
It is important to help your child’s dentist visits go smoothly so that lifelong habits of regular checkups without fear can be developed. You might consider choosing a pediatric dentist who specializes in children’s oral health and is trained to help kids through the dental visit. Discuss an upcoming dentist appointment with your child, and explain what to expect during the visit. If possible, take your child by the dentist’s office before your first appointment to see what it’s like. During the checkup, remain near your child to increase feelings of security and comfort.

We treat patients from McDonough and the surrounding area

Benefits of Hybrid Dentures

Have you lost all or most of your teeth due to damage, disease or decay and don’t find traditional removable dentures an attractive option? Implant-supported hybrid dentures are an alternative to traditional dentures that provide a secure and stable prosthetic replacement for missing teeth by combining the benefits of a fixed replacement with the advantages of a removable denture. Hybrid dentures are an especially viable option for patients who have lost a large amount of jawbone due to missing teeth. Some of the benefits of hybrid dentures include:

  • Hybrid dentures save your natural roots and preserves bone while reducing bone resorption and deterioration.
  • Hybrid dentures help to control facial contour changes caused by missing teeth.
  • Hybrid dentures function more naturally, allowing you to chew food better and speak more clearly.
  • With hybrid dentures, there is no need for messy denture creams and adhesives, eliminating much of the embarrassment associated with loose dentures.
  • Hybrid dentures eliminate the slippage, clacking and loss of taste associated with traditional dentures.

If you would like fixed teeth to replace teeth that you have lost but are not ready or a candidate for multiple individual implants for each missing tooth, hybrid dentures could be your solution. Hybrid dentures require only a few dental implants to secure the new teeth in place, allowing for quicker recovery time and increased comfort.

If you are seeking an alternative to traditional dentures to replace your missing teeth, talk with your dental professional to determine if you are a good candidate for hybrid dentures. With hybrid dentures, you can successfully restore the look, feel, and function of your natural teeth.

We look forward to seeing you in our McDonough dental office

Choosing a General Dentist

Choosing a General Dentist

Don’t put off choosing a general dentist until an emergency forces you to seek care from any dentist you can find. A better choice is to select the right dentist for you and your family who meets all your needs and to get established with regular checkups and consistent care. When searching for a general dentist, here are some guidelines to help you through the process.

Services:
Ask what procedures and treatments that the dentist offers. Make sure that the services you’re interested in are provided and that the dentist has experience in performing them. Typical services available through many general dentists include professional cleanings, X-rays, fillings, bonding, root canal treatment, teeth whitening, veneers, dental implants, and more.

Qualifications:
Check to see that the dentist has the proper education and training to be practicing, as well as a valid license. Look for a dentist who pursues continuing education in order to maintain the latest and most efficient skills.

Location:
You are more likely to keep your appointments if the dental office is located near your home or work. This makes stopping in for checkups easier with less impacts on your busy schedule.

Comfort:
Personal comfort is one of the most important aspects of your dental visits. Not only should the office environment be comfortable and appealing, your interactions with the dentist and staff should also make you feel at ease. Look for professionals who listen to what you have to say and address all of your concerns. Nerves are a common part of dental visits for many people, so find a dentist who makes you feel relaxed and more likely to return for care.

Policies:
Ask questions about various policies of the dental office such as hours, emergency care, financial responsibilities, insurance plans, and any other policies that might affect you.

Our dental office is located in McDonough

Reasons to Consider Dentures

Most of the time, the idea of dentures brings to mind elderly people who are missing a mouthful of teeth. The truth is that dentures are not just for old folks, but for people of all ages who have lost teeth for some reason. Gum disease, tooth decay, and trauma from an accident are all common reasons for tooth loss. There is no need to suffer through life with gaps in your smile, when you can opt for dentures to restore both appearance and function.

The main reasons that many people consider getting dentures include:

  • Eating – your teeth help you to chew and eat food. Dentures serve the same purpose, allowing you to eat a normal diet without having to stick only to soft foods or liquids.
  • Speaking – when the gaps in your smile have been filled, your ability to speak more clearly and easily is improved.
  • Smiling – replacing missing teeth gives you back your self-confidence to smile and laugh again. You will be proud of your new smile and be willing to display it more often. Also, your cheeks will have a fuller look and your appearance may look younger.

When you get dentures, expect that it may take some time to get used to them. They may feel strange at first, and you should be patient while you learn to talk and eat with them. Time will help you adjust to the dentures, but if discomfort lingers you should visit your dentist to make sure the fit is correct and no adjustments are necessary.

Our dental office is located in McDonough

Tips about Receding Gums

Tips about Receding Gums

Receding gums not only look unattractive, they can harm your health. If you notice that your gums are receding, ask your dentist for help so that you can reverse the problem instead of allowing it to worsen. The goal is to catch gum recession early and get it under control before it turns into periodontal disease.

What exactly is gum recession?  It’s the condition in which the outer tissue on a tooth begins to wear away toward the root, leading to exposure of your tooth enamel and eventually your tooth’s root. If untreated, receding gums lead to periodontal disease. The best way to avoid this problem is to prevent it from starting in the first place. This is easily done by performing good oral hygiene techniques. Brush twice a day with a soft toothbrush using a circular motion and mild pressure. Also, floss your teeth every day.

If you see that your gums are starting to recede, it’s likely that practicing better dental hygiene will restore your gum health over time. A deep cleaning by your dentist will help kick-start your hygiene routine at home. In some cases, an even deeper cleaning called root planing may be necessary.

For more advanced cases of gum recession, your dentist may need to take tissue from other areas and use it to cover exposed roots. This can boost your gum tissue and make it healthy again. If you experience pain and increased sensitivity due to exposed roots, your dentist may prescribe medications to help.

The main thing to remember about receding gums is that quick action is important. Good dental care is key in both preventing it and in correcting the problem after it has begun. If you notice that your gums are pulling away from your teeth or experience sensitivity, start the healing process as soon as possible by asking your dentist for treatment advice.

Schedule your appointment at our McDonough dental office

Foods that Contribute to Whiter Teeth

It’s part of life that your teeth will likely become dull and yellowed as you age and consume foods that contribute to teeth staining. However, you don’t have to go through life with a tainted smile. There are many options available these days for either at-home or professional teeth whitening. If you choose to brighten your smile, you’ll want to make sure you maintain the look as long as possible. Eating certain foods can help you naturally achieve the goal of a dazzling smile.

Citrus fruits:
Lemons, oranges, pineapples and other citrus fruits contain natural acids that help whiten teeth. Their tart flavor also promotes saliva in your mouth, which creates a natural rinse and polish over your teeth.

Strawberries:
Rich in vitamin C, strawberries can help prevent gum inflammation and other periodontal issues. They also contain malic acid as well as ellagitannins, which are antioxidants that help banish bacteria in your mouth.

Apples:
Chewing crunchy fruit like apples helps scrub your teeth to get rid of plaque and germs. Apples also have lots of malic acid, an ingredient in some toothpastes, which increases saliva to clean teeth and remove stains.

Pineapples:
An extra benefit of pineapples is bromelain, a compound that has cleansing and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps eliminate unsightly stains naturally.

Cheese:
Mineral ingredients like calcium and phosphorus give cheese an edge in strengthening your teeth. Cheese also contains protein that protects tooth enamel, and lactic acid that protects against tooth decay. Hard cheeses promote saliva production to clean your teeth.

Broccoli:
High in fiber, broccoli can help lower inflammation in your mouth and body. Crunching on raw broccoli cleans and polishes your teeth, and the iron content helps protect your teeth from damaging bacteria and acid.


We treat patients from McDonough and the surrounding area

Making Dental Hygiene Fun for Kids

In many households, the bedtime routine is no fun. One of the trickiest parts for some parents is getting their kids to brush their teeth. However, it’s not a part of your child’s routine that should be skipped. To help make taking care of their teeth fun for children, here are some ideas for parents.

Toothbrushes

Provide your kids with fun toothbrushes! By choosing a brush decorated with their favorite character or color, your children will think of their toothbrush more like a toy than a dental tool. Consider getting more than one toothbrush, so each night they can choose the one they want to “play” with at the time.

Toothpaste

Children are picky about their toothpaste flavors just like their foods. Select toothpaste that you know your kids will like. Some of the flavor options include bubble gum and fruits, as well as the standby mint.

Floss

If they start flossing at a young age, your kids will likely view it as part of their oral hygiene routine all of their life. Try using some of the fun flossing tools on the market today, because they may help get your child interested in flossing. There are many colors and shapes to choose from, so keep trying until you find one that motivates your child.

Rewards

Enticing your children with rewards is often an easy way to encourage them to perform a task without arguing. Consider making a rewards chart and giving them a sticker each time they brush and floss. By the end of a week filled with good dental hygiene, a special reward will await them!

We treat patients from McDonough and the surrounding area

What Your Teeth Say About Your Health

What Your Teeth Say About Your Health

Your body is a little bit like a puzzle. It gives you clues to help you figure out what’s going on within your body. Did you know your mouth can give you hints about things that may be happening elsewhere in your body? Here’s a list of some of the signs your mouth can give you to pay attention to certain other aspects of your health.

Worn teeth and headache

If your teeth are showing extensive wear, you may be grinding your teeth. This would be even a stronger possibility if you’re also experiencing regular headaches, which can be caused by the muscle tension related to teeth grinding. This condition also indicates that you are likely under too much stress, and that you are unconsciously coping with it by grinding your teeth.

Gums covering teeth

If your gums begin to grow over your teeth and you are on medication, it may mean that your medication is at fault. Some medicines can cause your gums to overgrow, and the dosage needs to be adjusted.

Mouth sores

An open sore in your mouth that doesn’t go away in a couple of weeks can be an indicator of oral cancer. Numbness and unexplained bleeding in your mouth are other signs. Smokers and people over age 60 are at the most risk, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect others too. See your dentist to make sure all is okay.

Cracked teeth

If your teeth begin to crack or wear extensively, you may have gastroesophogeal reflux disease (GERD). It’s a digestive disease that allows stomach acid to flow back into your food pipe and mouth. This acid can cause your teeth to deteriorate. Additional signs of GERD are acid reflux, heartburn, and dry mouth.

Unclean dentures

If you wear dentures, make sure you remove and clean them regularly. Inhaling food debris from your dentures that makes its way to your lungs can lead to pneumonia.

Schedule your appointment at our McDonough dental office

An Overview of Root Canal Treatment

Sometimes a tooth is so severely damaged that the only way to save it is with root canal treatment. There is no reason to turn and run if your dentist advises this procedure. The treatment has advanced to the point that it’s often compared to getting a filling. There are certain steps that will be performed as part of nearly every root canal procedure.

Preparation

X-rays may be taken as part of the diagnosis process or to determine the extent of damage. Once the dentist is ready to begin treatment, a local anesthetic will be used to numb the area throughout the procedure.

Pulp removal

A rubber dam will be placed around the tooth to separate the area from the rest of the mouth, and to keep it dry from saliva. The tooth will be opened, often using a small dental drill, to gain access to the pulp inside the tooth. The damaged pulp will be removed, and if there is an abscess it will be drained.

Cleaning and filling

After the pulp is eliminated, the dentist will thoroughly clean the area. The root canal will be widened if needed to create an adequate space for the filling. Depending on the extent of the damage, this step of the process can take up to several hours to complete or it can be spread over more than one visit. A temporary filling is sometimes used to seal the area between visits. If infection is present, the dentist may prescribe antibiotics.

Sealing

The temporary filling will be removed and the permanent filling placed to fully seal the tooth and prevent future infection. If the tooth has been filled at the root, the risk of breaking is higher so a crown may be recommended for protection.

Crown placement

Crowns help prevent further damage or fracturing. If needed, the tooth will be reduced somewhat to allow space for the crown. It will be held in place securely with dental cement.

Recovery

After root canal treatment, the tooth should survive for many years. The procedure may be repeated if re-infection occurs.


If you live in the McDonough area contact us today

Dental problems

Dealing with Common Dental Problems

If you have a dental emergency, for example a knocked out tooth or jaw injury, contact your dentist in McDonough right away for care. Quite often dental problems will develop out of office hours, so it’s a good idea to know how to treat them until you can visit your dentist. The following tips will help you take care of yourself or someone close:

  • Bitten Cheeks, Lips or Gums. Gently rinse the affected area using cool water. Use light but firm pressure to apply a clean piece of gauze or washcloth to stop bleeding. An ice pack can help reduce swelling.
  • Bleeding Gums. Bleeding gums are frequently caused by gum disease or through brushing your teeth too hard. Rinse your mouth with warm water and be sure to thoroughly brush and floss your teeth as this will help reduce infection and inflammation. Book an appointment with your family dentist in McDonough for proper diagnosis and treatment.
  • Canker Sores. It can help to wash the area with warm salt water. Avoid spicy or very hot foods until the canker sore begins to heal. If it fails to heal after two weeks, contact your dentist for advice.
  • Cracked or Broken Tooth. Carefully rinse your mouth with warm salt water. Book an appointment with your dentist to have the tooth mended, and bring any broken pieces of tooth with you to the dental office.
  • Loose Baby Tooth. Don’t attempt to pull out the tooth yourself, but instead encourage the child to gently wiggle it from side to side until it eventually comes out on its own.
  • Teething Problems. Use a chilled teething ring or a cold washcloth to help soothe your baby’s gums. Gently rubbing the gums can also relieve some of the pressure.

If you live in the McDonough area contact us today

Food for your teeth

Best Foods for a Beautiful Smile

Most people are well aware certain foods are bad for teeth, but did you know some are very good for oral health? Listed below are just a few of the foods that could help your teeth and gums stay in tip top condition.

Salmon
Salmon is packed full of vitamin D which helps your body to absorb calcium from other foods, keeping your teeth and bones strong and healthy.

Onions
Onions might give you temporary bad breath, but they also contain sulfur that lowers the amount of decay causing bacteria in your mouth.

Strawberries
Strawberries are high in fiber and vitamins C, ensuring your gums are able to repair themselves and fight infection.

Pineapple
Pineapple is also high in vitamins C as well as an enzyme called Bromelain which helps promote healing. In addition pineapple increases saliva production, helping to wash away excess bacteria and sugars that could cause disease.

Quinoa
This fashionable grain is full of minerals including magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and calcium, all of which help strengthen your teeth.

Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds contain plenty of calcium, helping to strengthen your teeth.

Shiitake Mushrooms
Shiitake mushrooms not only taste delicious, but also contain something called Lentinan which helps prevent the growth of bacteria in your mouth.

Wasabi
Wasabi is a type of Japanese horseradish that contains particular compounds that inhibit the growth of bacteria in your mouth.

Sea Salt
Sea salt contains numerous different minerals that help strengthen teeth.

Xylitol
Your dentist in Reno may recommend chewing xylitol gum after every meal as this ingredient helps inhibit bacterial growth, reducing the risk of gum disease and cavities.

Stevia
Ordinary sugar promotes bacterial growth, increasing acidity in the mouth. Stevia is a natural sweetener that doesn’t have this effect.
Of course a great diet is only half the story, and needs to be backed up with professional dental care from your dentist in Reno, and great daily dental care at home.

 

Visit our McDonough dental office for a dental cleaning.

Teeth Whitening: Quit Living with a Discolored Smile

You’re not the only one if you feel like your smile has become dull and yellowed. This happens to nearly everyone, and it is the most common complaint that people have about the look of their smiles. There is no reason to live with a discolored smile. Teeth whitening is available to restore your pearly whites.

There are a number of reasons that your smile has changed over the years. Aging causes tooth enamel to thin and allow the yellow-tinged dentin layer to show through. Dark-colored foods and drinks stain teeth, some medications produce the side effect of darkening teeth, and tobacco use creates difficult stains. Teeth may also change color due to mouth trauma.

Whatever the culprit is for your diminished smile, teeth whitening is a simple way to restore it. Whitening products contain bleaching agents that break up stains so that the color is less concentrated and your teeth look brighter. However, teeth whitening does not work in all situations. It does not affect restorations like veneers, fillings or crowns. Whitening is also not usually effective on stains resulting from injury or medications. Yellow teeth are the most likely to respond to teeth whitening, while brown or gray tones might be less improved.

There are numerous options for teeth whitening. Home products are available at your local drugstore like whitening toothpastes, gels, pens, strips and more. These methods focus on removing surface stains from your teeth. At-home bleaching kits are another option, typically obtained from your dentist, that involve filling a mouth tray with a special bleaching solution and wearing the trays for a time period like overnight. These kits are stronger than over-the-counter methods, but not as strong as professional whitening performed in a dental office. It is accomplished in about an hour in the dental chair using a concentrated bleaching agent and special lighting or laser to enhance the process, and provides the most dramatic results.

Consult your dentist for advice on the best whitening methods to use on your teeth. Every patient is different and certain methods may be more effective or comfortable for various people.

We look forward to seeing you in our McDonough dental office

Enhancing Your Smile with Teeth Whitening

Your smile is a noticeable part of your appearance, and yellow dingy teeth can leave a negative impression on others. Most people have to work at having a bright sparkly smile, because teeth can discolor with age, diet, and lifestyle.

You may not realize that sipping a glass of red wine or coffee can be a detriment to your smile, as can sugary items that allow acids to attack your tooth enamel. Smoking is an even worse culprit. It not only leaves ugly spots on the surface of teeth, it also contributes to poor gum health.

If your teeth are already stained or if you’re having a hard time breaking the habits that discolor them, teeth whitening is a good way to improve the look of your smile. There are numerous methods to regain the natural glow of your teeth, ranging from over-the-counter techniques for home use to professional treatments in an office setting.

Whitening products available at your local drug or grocery store include things like toothpaste, chewing gum, mouthwash, gels, and whitening strips. These are readily available and usually inexpensive options. Most of these products are simple to use and can be done in the convenience of your home when you choose. However, over-the-counter products are not as strong as professional methods. This means that results are not dramatic and usually take a long period of time of consistent use. Also, the effects may not last as long as you hope before it’s time to consider whitening again.

Professional teeth whitening is often performed by general and cosmetic dentists in an office environment. Bleaching is a popular professional method. The biggest advantage of in-office treatment is the fast results, with a visibly brighter smile evident in about an hour. Results are often dramatic, lightening teeth by several shades. Professionals trained and experienced in these methods provide safe and effective treatment. Methods available professionally may cost a bit more than home options, but the dramatic results may be worth it.

Schedule your appointment at our McDonough dental office

Nail Biting A Habit Worth Breaking

Nail Biting: A Habit Worth Breaking

Most people who bite their nails wish they didn’t do it. If you’re a nail biter, you probably know that it spreads germs and leaves your nails looking unattractive. But did you know that it can harm your teeth? Let’s find out the connection between nail biting and tooth damage, and learn some ways to stop this nasty habit.

What does nail biting do to my teeth?
Just like chewing on hard items like ice, nails are hard and put stress on your teeth when you bite down on them. With time, your teeth will weaken and your teeth can chip or break. Since nail biting is a repetitive habit, constant chewing on your teeth wears them down faster than they should. Your teeth also can become more sensitive when the enamel is worn down. Additionally, biting your nails can move your teeth out of place. Your gums are at risk too from the additional stress the nail biting puts on them, eventually leading to gum disease and even tooth loss.

What if I wear braces?
Braces already add pressure on your teeth, so nail biting can stress them even more. The roots of your teeth can be weakened, which leads to problems like tooth loss.

How can I stop biting my nails?

Here are some tips to help you stop the nail biting habit:

  • Get a hobby that uses your hands, like video games, knitting, or painting.
  • Occupy your mouth by chewing sugarless gum, sucking on mints, or eating carrot sticks.
  • Add foods to your diet containing calcium and magnesium because they help repair and grow your nails.
  • Cover your nails with tape, petroleum jelly, fake nails (for girls), or foul-tasting liquid.
  • Get manicures to make your nails look nice, so you will be less inclined to bite them.

Schedule your appointment at our McDonough dental office

Oral Surgery: Removing Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars and the last adult teeth to erupt into the mouth. Most people have four wisdom teeth, two on the bottom and two on top. Many people do not have enough room for these molars to emerge completely, causing them to become impacted in the gum. Impacted wisdom teeth are difficult to clean, making them more susceptible to decay and disease. Other dental problems caused by impacted wisdom teeth include pain, damage to surrounding teeth, and bite alignment issues. For these reasons, your dentist may recommend having the impacted teeth removed to prevent future problems.

Surgery to extract an impacted wisdom tooth or set of wisdom teeth is usually an outpatient procedure done in your dentist or oral surgeon’s office. If the tooth or surrounding area are deemed to have an infection prior to the procedure, surgery will be delayed, and your dental professional will likely prescribe antibiotics to help heal the area.

On the day of surgery, local anesthesia will be administered to numb the area where the extracted tooth will be removed. Depending on the severity of your case, your dentist or oral surgeon may also utilize a general anesthetic.

Once the anesthesia has taken effect, an incision will be made to open up the gum and any bone blocking the tooth will be removed. Your dentist or surgeon will then separate the tissue connecting the bone to the tooth and extract the tooth. Some teeth are too large to remove in one piece, in which case your surgeon will cut the tooth into smaller pieces to make it easier to remove. Finally, the incision is closed with stitches and packed with gauze to help alleviate bleeding.

Long-term complications from impacted wisdom tooth surgery are rare. To ensure a successful recovery from this or any oral surgery, be sure to follow all aftercare instructions provided by your dentist or oral surgeon.

Schedule your appointment at our McDonough dental office

How a Dental Crown or Bridge Can Improve Your Smile

How a Dental Crown or Bridge Can Improve Your Smile

Severely damaged, injured or diseased teeth can lead to not only cosmetic problems with your smile, but also functional ones. Your dentist may recommend dental crowns or dental bridges to treat your dental issues.

Dental crowns are a restorative dental therapy that covers the affected tooth completely, serving as the new outer surface of the tooth. A dental crown maintains the natural roots of a tooth and can prevent extraction. A dental bridge fills the gap left by one or more missing teeth and is affixed to bordering teeth with an anchoring crown.

Both dental crowns and dental bridges are made from a variety of materials that can be designed to match the color of your surrounding natural teeth. As opposed to removable prosthodontics such as full or partial dentures, dental crowns and bridges are permanently bonded to existing teeth or dental implants, allowing them to function and appear as natural teeth.

Dental crowns and bridges have a number of advantages and benefits, such as:

  • Dental crowns protect the natural tooth after a root canal therapy, helping to prevent bacteria re-infecting the tooth that could lead to extraction.
  • Dental bridges restore gapped or missing teeth, providing support to the surrounding teeth, preventing them from shifting in to fill the empty space and affecting your speech, bite and smile.
  • Your dentist can typically place dental crowns and bridges in as few as two appointments.
  • Dental crowns and bridges are both long-lasting, durable therapies, designed to protect your natural tooth for years to come.
  • Dental crowns prevent bone loss by preserving the natural tooth roots, thereby stimulating the jawbone, preventing resorption, or shrinkage, of the bone following extraction.

If you have questions about what a dental crown or bridge can do to improve the form and function of your smile, talk to your dental professional today. You can restore your healthy smile and preserve it for years to come with a dental crown or dental bridge treatment.

If you live in the McDonough area contact us today

The Cons of Over-the-Counter Home Teeth Whitening Kits

Everyone wants to have a whiter, healthy smile. Home teeth whitening has become an extremely popular means to achieve those pearlier whites in the past couple of decades.  In many cases, over-the-counter whitening kits are effective and safe. However, there are some disadvantages and risks to using over-the-counter home whitening kits:

  • Off-brand whitening kits often contain dangerous concentrations of bleach or peroxide. This can cause erosion of the tooth enamel, and irritation to the sensitive gums and soft tissues of the mouth.
  • Because many kits contain trays that do not adhere properly to your teeth, gums can become irritated and chemicals can leak out and be ingested causing stomach problems.
  • Poorly fitted trays and varying concentrations of chemicals from lower quality kits may also result in unwanted discoloration of teeth or uneven results.
  • Exposure to excessively harsh chemicals in off-brand kits can also cause gum shrinkage and oral infections.

When considering at-home whitening, it is best to stick to name brand kits to ensure the quality and safety of the treatment. Many popular brands of kits are both safe and efficient when used as directed. In any case, you should not consider at-home whitening if any of the following apply:

  • You have deep, untreated cavities.
  • You are pregnant.
  • You suffer from gum disease.

The safest and most effective method for whitening your teeth is to have treatment by a dental professional, either in-office or with professional take-home trays. A qualified dentist can whiten your teeth up to ten shades in as little as one office visit. Consult with your dentist before pursuing any type of whitening treatment to ensure you will achieve the whiter smile you desire in the safest and quickest manner possible.


Our dental office is located in McDonough